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Best french bread in Los Angeles?

I know were this USED to be; we used to sell it at the Big Loaf Bakery on Jefferson (we being me on school vacations, and my aunt and uncle year round). But that's all in the past.

Where can you find decent french bread today? It needs to be light and airy on the inside and with a thin but respectable crust on the outside. Where should I be buying this nowadays?

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  1. Maison Richard
    Delice Bakery
    Elysee
    La Brea Bakery

    1. La Brea Bread
      Le Pain Quotiden
      Panera is OK
      Breadbar

      1. I've been on this quest myself for some time. La Brea bakery is clearly not it. The interior is way too tough and dense. I recently had a decent "Rustice Baguette" from Gelson's. It was their house brand.

        Also, La Maison du Pain does a pretty good job. They also have very good ficelles. 5373 Pico Blvd.

        6 Replies
          1. re: Bob Brooks

            How is the flavor of the Masion du Pain Bread. I have had French Bread in Los Angeles that was almost tasteless( Bristol Farms ) The best French Bread I had had this last year was at Bahn Mi Cho Chu.. go figure. I saw them bring in about 30 loafs in a big brown bag as I was leaving. Would love to know where that bakery is.

            1. re: Foodandwine

              I shopped all around LA for a VERY long time.
              MdP is the one and only that smells, tastes and has the texture of the real thing. Or even more: friends that live in Paris and come over to visit prefer it to whatever they buy in Paris. Not just the bread: the croissants, the pain au chocolat, their brioche, you name it.

              1. re: RicRios

                RicRios: Just got back from Masion du Pain. 1 Plain Baguette ( many varietys to choose from) 1 Almond Crossiant and 1 Choclate Lava Cupcake Total $7.45.. Carwash to clean all the crumbs that are all over my car ( could not wait to get home ) $9.95 Total experience P R I C E L E S S . Actually a very good Patisserie. Thanks for the tip Hounds!!

                1. re: Foodandwine

                  next time add a chocolate croissant to your bag of goodies; the total combination may be enough to make you pass out.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    To which you should also add the pistachio financiers and the fruit tarts. For all the 'Hounds who are portion-conscious, they also do mini-tarts and mini-pastries.
                    You can buy them by the unit and savor with a cup of espresso when you are back home. If you haven't tried yet, the tartes au sucre are great too, and we should petition Carmen and Josephine to bring back the viennoise. Yes, I've put on 20 pounds since they opened...

          2. Babette's Bakery in Long Beach. Great baguettes, hidden in a strip mall on a shady stretch of Atlantic Blvd. I went to Poly High, just up the street, and walking to Babette's for a small baguette and some butter was the perfect after-school snack.

            Babette's Bakery
            1404 Atlantic Ave
            Long Beach, CA 90813

            1. I keep parroting this -- but seriously, I have driven from Anaheim for it -- the baguette at Eilat Bakery in Valley Village makes me weep, it's so good. I haven't tried the other Eilat Bakeries, don't know if they're related. The one in VV is on Burbank Blvd., just west of Whitsett, on the north side of the boulevard. Standard kosher-bakery hours (extended Thursday night, closes early Friday, opens at 9 PM on Saturday, open Sunday).

              1. Another weird one: Papa Christos, I guess technically "Greek Bread" but they're great. People carry the baguettes out by the armload.

                2 Replies
                1. re: klaatu

                  I second this, I love that bread so much.

                  1. re: klaatu

                    Yes! Papa Cristos's bread is the best! I just got some on Friday night. He also sells a chile feta which is to die for!! ;-) YUM!!

                  2. I agree anout La Brea Bakery being a disappointment, and this from someone for whom Campanile is almost a religion.

                    Never heard of Maison du Pain, it sounds like the title of one of those Grove Press novels my dad tried to hide from me when I was a kid.

                    Good bread deserves links ...

                    -----
                    Papa Cristos
                    2771 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                    Breadbar Century City
                    10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                    Banh Mi Cho Cu Bakery
                    14520 Magnolia St, Westminster, CA 92683

                    Babette Bakery
                    1404 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813

                    Maison Richard Restaurant
                    707 Stanley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

                    Delice Bakery
                    8583 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                    Elysee Bakery
                    1099 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                    La Brea Bakery
                    624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                    Le Pain Quotidien
                    8607 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                    Panera Bread
                    12131 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                    Gelson's Markets
                    5877 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                    La Maison Du Pain
                    5373 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                    Eilat Bakery
                    12522 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91607

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: maxzook

                      Chez Nous in Toluca Lake has the most amazing french bread - all their baked goods are really amazing.

                      1. re: LMelba

                        That dull thumping sound is me pounding my head on the desk that I didn't mention Chez Nous's wonderful baguettes upthread.

                        Let me make it up with a link update ...

                        -----
                        Chez Nous
                        10550 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

                        Mr. Baguette
                        400 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                        1. re: maxzook

                          And more links ...

                          -----
                          Spoon House
                          1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                          Figaro Cafe Restaurant
                          1802 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                    2. Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica on Lincoln and Broadway.... its amazingly fresh (usually still hot to the touch) and at $1.60 a loaf the price can't be beat. White bread... very airy inside, with a thin golden crust. Quite a bit thicker than a baguette though.

                      Not to mention all the delicious toppings you can buy in the store... definitely my number 1 choice.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: bern1

                        I've had many a Bay Cities sandwich and while their bread is great for their product, it ain't the light, airy and crunchy french roll I'm trying to nail down. In comparison it's fairly flat and somewhat dense, with a thicker crust.

                        1. re: broncosaurus

                          Agreed. It's very good Italian bread, but just 'cause it's long and white doesn't means it's at all the same as a baguette.

                          1. re: broncosaurus

                            I'm with Bern. There's a difference between what the use for their sandwich and the delicious loves in the fresh-baked bin. Both are great, but the loaf will get you very close to what you're looking for. It's addicting just on its own.

                            1. re: steveand

                              Again, I'll take your word for it that BC's bin loaves are good (and that they're different than the sandwich bread). It's just that in Bern's OP he said they're "quite a bit thicker than a baguette" and have a "thin golden crust".

                              I love true French baguettes with fresh butter, but I don't like sandwiches made with them ... sandwich bread shouldn't have so much crust, imho.

                        2. What about Mr. Baguette in Monterey Park on Atlantic?

                          1. have you tried Spoon House in Gardena? its a little japanese-italian pasta restaurant,and they serve this amazing french baugette with their pasta......
                            They sell their baugette there also. Give it a try if you are in the neighborhood.

                            Spoon House
                            1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd
                            Gardena, CA 90247
                            Phone: (310) 538-0376

                            1. I like the baguettes from Cafe Figaro on Vermont. Not the lightest ever, but pretty good IMHO.

                              1. Most of the places mentioned sell good bread, American/California French bread. But if you want French bread go to Pain du Jour at 28 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica , California. (310) 399-4870. They also sell croissants, pain au chocolat and a little viennoiserie. It is a real boulangerie and nothing more.

                                They open at 7:30 and are gone by 3. Many things are sold out by then. Their web site is www.paindujour.com/

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Paliman

                                  828 pico you had a typo. I am going to check it out next week thanks..

                                  -----
                                  Le Pain Du Jour
                                  828 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                                  1. re: Paliman

                                    I don't think that's their website, even though it turns up in the Google search.

                                    1. re: Chowpatty

                                      Despite all the French language text, which gives the impression that it is a French site - it is their site, address in small text is 828 Pico etc.

                                    1. re: AAQjr

                                      Brentwood, actually ...

                                      -----
                                      Amandine Patissiere
                                      12225 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                    2. Delice for the best baguette

                                      1. and at Buy one get one free. $1 for both FRESH BAKED you can't beat it....

                                        -----
                                        Lee's Sandwiches
                                        8779 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770